Napoleons trip from Elba to Paris, & from Paris to St. Helena -

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Napoleons trip from Elba to Paris, & from Paris to St. Helena -
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George Cruikshank

Napoleons trip from Elba to Paris, & from Paris to St Helena-

London, M. Jones September 1st .1815, The Scourge

Etching

Original hand colouring

205 x 490 mm

Traces of old folds as issued.

£420

A sequence of three designs placed side by side. [1] Napoleon, in profile to the right, astride a large eagle, flies (and flees) from the field of Waterloo (see No. 12557, &c.). His crown flies from his head, his (broken) Hand of Justice (see No. 12247) falls; his hands are clasped, encircling the bird's neck. He says: "Sauve qui peut—The Devil take the hindmost—Run my boys your Emperor leads the way— My dear Eagle only conduct me safe to Paris this time as you did from Moscow & Leipsig, & I'll never trouble you again—Oh! d—n that Wellington." The eagle says : "my left wing has entirely disappeared (the right wing only is depicted, the absence of the other is made less conspicuous by the position of Napoleon)." On the ground below, little French soldiers flee in wild and grotesque confusion, three mounted on one horse. Behind (left) British soldiers with a torn Union flag advance down-hill in good order; great clouds of smoke divide them from the French. A sign-post (right) points (right) 'To Paris', (left) To Waterloo'. [2] John Bull's house (right) gives directly, by a wide doorless opening, upon the sea-shore, with the poop of the '[Bell]erophon' (left) close to land. Napoleon (not caricatured) stands on a projection near the water-line, looking directly down at John, who sits in an arm-chair close to his fire. He says, with outstretched left arm, "My most powerful & most generous enemy, how do you do? I come like Themistocles to seat myself upon your hearth—I am very glad to see you." John, holding a pipe in his left hand, turns his head in profile to answer Napoleon: "So am I glad to see you Mr Boney but I'll be d—d if you sit upon my hearth or any part of my house—it has cost me a pretty round sum to catch you Mr Themistocles, as you call yourself; but now I have got you I'll take care of you.—." John Bull is a stout countryman wearing top-boots. His tall dog, lying at his side, looks aggressively towards the 'Bellerophon'. Above the chimneypiece is a gun; below this a bust (coloured yellow) of George III immediately above two other profile-busts on the chimney-piece: Wellington and Blücher. On the floor is an open book: 'John Bull [or the] Englishmans Fire Side' [Colman's best comedy, first played at Covent Garden 5 Mar. 1803]. [3] Napoleon sits on a stool outside a thatched hut in St. Helena, hands on knees, intently watching a large rat-trap. Across his shoulders is one of those bands decorated with rats or rat-skins that denoted the rat-catcher. He sits between a tall thin French officer and a Frenchwoman, décolletée and wearing a ragged apron, who stands holding up a piece of bacon on a fork. A rat issuing from a cave (right) approaches the trap suspiciously. In the background is a conical mountain, representing Sugar Loaf Hill; beside the hut are two tall palm-trees. The officer, Bertrand, says: "Ah! Mon dieu! Dere your Majesty—dere be de vilain rogues—Ah, Monsieur rat why you not pop your nose into de trap & let de august Emperor catch you—." Mme Bertrand: "Will your Majesty be please to try dis bit of bacon? Ah! de cunning rascal! Dere! Ma foi! he sniff at the bacon!—" Napoleon: "Alass! that I who caught Imperial flats, Should now sit here to watch these scurvy rats, I, who Madrid, Berlin, Vienna, Moscow, took, Am doomed, with cheese, to bait a rusty hook! Was it for this I tried to save my bacon, To use it now for rats that won't be taken? Curse their wise souls! I had not half such trouble, Their European brethren to bubble. When I myself was hail'd as Emperor Nap, Emperors & Kings I had within my trap And to this moment might have kept them there Had I not gone to hunt the Russian bear."